Hay vs Ahí vs Ay

It’s time to discuss Spanish learners’ favorite love triangle! :clown_face:

Have you ever had doubts whether to write “Hay” or “Ahí”? Because I know I have :point_right:t2: :point_left:t2: So I thought it would be useful to briefly explain each one :grin:

Ahí: This one is an adverb, and it indicates place (just like the word “there”). “Dejé las llaves ahí” = “I left the keys there:point_right:t2: :key:

Hay: A form of the verb “haber”, a multi-purpose spanish verb which can sometimes be problematic. Just keep in mind that, in this form, only has two uses:

  • As an impersonal form of the verb to be (or “there is/are”): “Hay una casa en la colina” = “There is a house on the hill” :house: :sunrise_over_mountains: // “Hay alguien llamando a la puerta” = “There is someone knocking at the door” :door: :fist:t2:
  • To express the necessity to do a specific task (It is also impersonal). “Hay que arreglar esto” = “This needs to be fixed” :hammer_and_wrench: // “Hay que hacer la tarea” = “We have to do the homework” or “The homework needs to be done” :books:

Ay! : Is an interjection used to express pain or similar emotions. In other words, it’s the Spanish for “ouch!” . “Ay, me golpee la cabeza” = “Ouch, I’ve hit my head” :face_with_head_bandage:

Ahy: It DOES NOT exist. Trust me, I’ve read this one plenty :scream: If you’re ever writing this, it’s probably one of the options above. So, keep trying to figure out which one is, you got this! :muscle:t2:

Anyways, I hope this little post helps you! You can comment your doubts or anecdotes here regarding this peculiar triangle :blush:

PS: Can someone come up with an example with the three words in it? :wink: